Lucy Watts MBE
My particular areas of expertise are in the following areas:
- NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC)
- NHS Children’s Continuing Care (NHS CC)
- Personal Health Budgets
- Care Act Advocacy
- NHS Complaints and Appeals
- General Healthcare/Patient Advocacy
- Adult Advocacy
- Advocacy to Support The Transition to Adulthood
- Benefits-Related Advocacy and Support
- Education, Health and Care Plans where complex medical needs are the main issue.
Specifically experienced in the following condition groups, needs and so on:
- Complex medical needs
- Physical disability
- Life-limiting conditions
- Long-term conditions
- End of life care
- Genetic Disorders and Rare Disease
- Specialist interventions (Total/Home Parenteral Nutrition – TPN/HPN; central lines; home intravenous treatments; long term ventilation; enteral feeding; stoma bags; bowel interventions; bladder interventions; and so on)
- Co-morbid mental health needs for someone with a primary complex medical condition or physical disability.
As you can see from above, those are my areas of expertise and experience in terms of the provision of advocacy. I bring my wealth of lived experience, as well as professional experience working with a range of clients, from advocacy for adult clients in need of Continuing Healthcare; to family advocacy around Children’s Continuing Care or Social Care; to using Care Act Advocacy to ensure thorough assessments of needs of the individual or carer; to supporting individuals with NHS complaints and appeals; and so on.
I’m an independent advocacy professional who can be commissioned to provide support in a number of ways:
- Directly commissioned by patient/family (adjusted fee/rate for this service)
- Commissioned by the CCG or Local Authority
- Commissioned by the individual from an existing care package
- Commissioned by a charity supporting the individual/family
My advocacy service is quite unique in many ways. Firstly, I’m an independent individual offering this service through my self-run small business, of which I am the only staff member; I am not part of a statutory body, an advocacy organisation, a charity (although I do provide some advocacy via my role with the Breathe On UK Charity), nor am I a profit-driven private business trying to dominate the market. I’m an independent individual offering a personalised, 1:1, dedicated and committed service. I run this service as an individual who is passionate about this work, who deliberately keeps her business small in order to deliver that personalised, individual service that she is known and respected for, who is known for her drive and commitment to achieve maximum benefit and support for her clients in a quiet and assured way, personally holding those in power to account, and who doesn’t get caught up in bureaucracy.
I stick within my areas of expertise and am able to combine my personal (lived) experience with my professional experience having worked with quite a number of clients over the years, initially voluntarily and now through this business.
I also conduct almost all of my advocacy work remotely, using the wonders of technology. This is because my clients are spread all over the country, the level of travelling to do all my work face-to-face would drastically cut down my availability in terms of support and number of clients, and because it is the most accessible way to receive my services and for me to fulfil my role. Another reason why I conduct this work remotely is due to my own accessibility needs, which mean I cannot often access people’s homes – I rely on a large specialist powered wheelchair and have no ability to transfer out of it or mobilise in any way, and because I rely on constant support from specialist registered nurses (RNs), care workers (PAs) and an Assistance Dog to meet my medical, personal and other needs. I utilise a lot of different technologies and platforms in the conduction of my work: this includes remote attendance in meetings using videoconferencing and telephone facilities; conducting my ‘visits’ and case communications utilising telephone, videoconferencing software, email, WhatsApp and social media platforms (whichever the client is most comfortable doing, but also bearing in mind the GDPR); utilising different technologies to facilitate my role including google docs for collaborative document editing and compilation, online secure (GDPR-compliant) file hosting platforms with shared folders for dual access for myself and my client; and others. I operate in some niche areas where not much advocacy is concentrated, providing expertise on areas not well understood by others. My expertise in some of these areas, particularly Continuing Healthcare and Children’s Continuing Care, leads me to be called upon for input into cases by solicitors and other advocates and professionals.
I’m not a solicitor or legal advocate, but I will refer cases onto solicitors, prepare the case files for that solicitor to utilise, and work in tandem with the solicitor and the client to assist in the preparation of documentation, presentation and management of evidence, writing up of any case files and organising of this documentation in anticipation of the case moving forward legally.